Posts Tagged ‘stickers’

Toronto is a city of surprises; a city of variety.  If you are bored with one street, just walk another block or turn at the next intersection and chances are you’ll encounter something different.  The scenery will change.  For instance, on Dundas West you leave the downtown core just after University Ave., walk past OCADU, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Grange Park… next, through a section of Chinatown at Spadina and then immediately into the Kensington Market area.   Just south of Kensington is the redevelopment of Alexandra Park….  and you’ve only walked a few blocks.

traffic signs and pedestrian crossing signs on Dundas with downtown highrise in the background and Ocadu banner on pole

below: The newly renovated OCADU annex building on the southeast corner of Dundas and McCaul is now called the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion.  The curve of the roof contrasts nicely with the sharp edges of the neighbouring buildings

Rosalie Sharp pavilion on the southeast corner of Dundas and McCaul, shiny metal facade on the building,

below: The northeast corner of Dundas and McCaul is yet another hole in the ground.  The Art Gallery of Ontario and Rosalie Sharp Pavilion are in the background.  I am beginning to feel like a broken record player when I mention yet another condo construction site (tangent – is there a 21st century equivalent to “broken record player”?).

construction site, orange plastic, hole in the ground, St. Patricks church on right, AGO in the background, at Dundas and McCaul, northeast corner

below: The demolition of the buildings on Dundas West opens up new views of St. Patricks RC Church.

on Dundas West, just east of McCaul, hoardings around a construction site with St. Patricks RC Church behind

below: Around the corner from St. Patricks, is Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and its bilingual signage and beautiful red door.

entrance doorway to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, red wood door, signs on right side in English, signs on left side in Chinese

below: Krispy Kreme (yes, they still exist!) and Jimmys Coffee on McCaul in almost identical buildings.  Like twins but with a dash of their own personality.

old buildings on McCaul street, two remaining rowhouses, three storeys, one is Krispy Kreme at street level, the other is a Jimmys Coffee. A larger squarer brick building on the right, also three storeys

below: Thing 1 and Thing 2 running down the alley

mural with Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Sr. Suess Cat in the Hat book

below: …but not this alley.   That’s a lot of stairs!

Toronto downtown alley backs of houses, exterior stairs up to third floor, fences, brick, concrete,

below: Each building has it’s own character from years of changes and modifications as people come and go.  They may not be good looking but they are often unique – someone’s little piece of the city.

back of houses in alley, tree, fence,

below: Front yard patio

loveseat and armshair outside on grey mat, door to building is double red door, storefront,

below: Critters in the window

three stuffie toys in the middle window of a bay window set in a beige stucco house, behind a wood fence, rusty metal roof on bay window

below:  An old TTC streetcar loses its load.  By the looks of it, this image will disappear once the ivy comes back to life in a few weeks.

painting on concrete wall of a TTC street car leaning over and people falling out

Super star written on the window of a hair salon in china town, large red Chinese letters too, reflection in the window

below: Put together by the ‘Long Time No See Photo Project’, “Chinatown, the Best” is a collection of portraits that highlights seniors in the Chinatown area along with their thoughts and opinions on what makes Chinatown great.

Chinatown poster series on residents, in windows and door on Dundas

below: The posters are on display over eight locations on Spadina and Dundas West.

Chinatown poster series on residents, in windows and door on Dundas

Left to right:
1. Come and work out in Chinatown.
2. Chinatown is my looking glass. Newcomers come thru finding support to enter Canada & I go back thru to understand where my ancestors and I come from. Keep Chinatown strong!
3. Chinatown is my ancestral village. In 1892 Great-Grandfather Charlie Yep laid down family roots in Montreal – but the early years of international racism gave way to self-loathing Kungfu? Chinesey food? Aiiyah!! Standing defiant in a martial arts pose is a testimony to overcoming my denial. I am Chinese-Quebecois Canadian. Au bout!
4. For making Chinatown the Best, Lily draws on her spiritual energy medicine knowledge to develop a healing relationship with the living landscape and its inhabitants to foster the restoration of the area’s sluggish energetic anatomy and amplify its vibrational health and wholeness.
5. deu say lin yeung im ah im duck!

below:  In another Chinatown window is this display – pictures of food with four old black and white pictures.

picture in window in Chinatown, collage of food photos and old black and white photos. One black and white is old Shanghai Bund

below: The picture on the far right depicts Shanghai Bund and river waterfront so it is possible that the other photos are also of Shanghai?  Or at least cities in China?

close up of a picture of sliced meat on a platter, as well as two old black and white photos. Photo on right is Shanghai Bund with boats docked along the river shore.

below: Another window with pictures – this time The Kensary, a cannabis store in Kensington.

window of the Kensary cannabis store in Kensington, full of Toronto landmarks

below: A close up of part of the window showing Casa Loma, Roy Thomson Hall, Hughs Room, the El Mocambo, the Silver Dollar, Massey Hall, and gabled Victorian era houses

close up of picture in window of The Kensary, Toronto landmarks, Casa Loma, Roy Thomson Hall,

below: Hoardings on Spadina where a skeleton reaches out for passers-by.

man on sidewalk on Spadina, walking past hoardings with graffiti and street art and adverts, one mural is a large skull with outreached bony arms,

below: Kensington view of the CN Tower

CN Tower in background, large hydro wood structure in foreground, view from Kensington

below: Facilities at Bellevue Park – more than just “all gender”

a blue and yellow porta potty covered in macabre street art, in bellevue park

in blues, mural by elicser of an older man with white beard, a hook for a hand, smoking a pipe, wearing a cap

a dead end in an alley where all the fences and gates are covered with murals, a large tree, the backs of two storey houses in different materials and colours, brick, wood,

below: Wanted poster for Putin the war criminal

two stencils on hoardings, one is a pink woman's head and the other is a wanted poster for putin, war criminal, Russian leader for his invasion of ukraine

street art on hoardings with word war, black hands and red flames, yellow building tower,

below: There’s at least one Maple Leafs fan left!

sticker on a pole, a stick figure person with a happy face and a realistic blue Maple leafs hockey jersey

bke parked at bicycle stand with graffiti slaps on it, across street from fruit and vegetable market with green walls and red and white striped awning, Kensington market area of Toronto

poster graffiti of a white skull on black background, large red border, on a pole, with alley street art in the background

a woman taking pictures of street art in an alley

below: Jumblefacefoto collages

two large jumblefacefoto collages on walls of empty storefront, open door, with large sign saying coming soon, someone has written in black marker, large letters, freedom in back

in an alley, a door painted black, part of a callligraphy mural with black writing on magenta and orange background

below: Alexandra Park redevelopment progresses. Dundas West is the northern edge of the 16 acre site owned by TCHC (Toronto Community Housing Corp). Most of the original units that were built in the 1960s are now gone.

orange digger working behind a fence, beside older brick apartment building, sign on fence that says you are not your mistakes.

on a pole, twp graffiti slaps, on top is an intricate line drawing of flowers and on the bottom is a bruha, intergalactic in many colours

below: Apparently it’s okay to be white. Actually it’s okay to be brown, or black, or any shade in between too.

on the back of street traffic signs, two slaps. On top is one with words It's okay to be white, and on the bottom a small face with a round surprised mouth

below: Anarchist piano lessons?

poster on hoardings that says Anarchist piano lessons

below: “They say death takes you to a better place but I doubt it”  Me?  I’m in no hurry to find out.

square slap graffiti, small, with text crammed into it that says They say death takes you to a better place but I doubt it

small black and white sticker of a screaming face, on a pole with street art, beside a wood utility pole with lots of orange paint

on a wooden fence, a sign that says warning CCTV cameras, surveillance, you are being watched

… and Graffiti Alley

stencil graffiti, words that say met u in toronto written twice in a circle around a happy face, yellow on black, sprayed on a brick wall in Graffiti Alley

in Graffiti Alley, on a door, a big pink heart with love written in cursive through the middle of it

below: Northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

northeast corner of Spadina and Queen in a snow flurry,

early morning, storefronts on Queen West, fruit market, empty store, lots of cardboard boxes on sidewalk waiting for trash pickup

below: Mannequins on orange

mannequins in Joe Fresh window, orange background, kids clothes

sidewalk scene on Queen West, bus shelter with Queen West advert, green P parking sign, some stores,

below: Queen Street westbound approaching Bathurst

TTC streetcar westbound on Queen West approaching Bathurst, snow falling, other cars waiting for red light,

below: It’s always nice to see that there’s at least one Lovebot still hanging out in Graffiti Alley.

in Graffiti Alley, a lovebot pasteup up hgh, love bot and a bunch of balloons

below: On the door, a jumblefacefoto collage

jumblefacefoto collage paper pasteup on door in graffiti alley in the middle of a text throw up street art

below: Reach out and touch someone

Bell phone booth covered with stickers, plus a fake bony hand holding onto the receiver, in Graffiti Alley

below: Open your eyes

brick wall with paper pasteup graffiti, open your eyes, a jumblefacefoto

below: Are you smiling?  Are you happy?

old KFC building, empty, with graffiti painted on wood leaning against the building, black letters on white that say In a passive society smiles are not the faces of happy people R "2022"

TTC streetcar at Queen and Spadina, in the snow

an older couple walking on sidewalk on Queen West waiting for greenlight at Bathurst by taccorito restaurant

below: Southeast corner, Queen & Niagara

early morning, yellow lights on in plant store on Queen West, a woman walking past,

below: Same intersection slightly later in the morning and from a slightly different angle

people on the sidewalk at queen west and niagara, traffic lights, woman pushing stroller, Japanese mural in the background, chive plant store in the foreground

two storefronts in old brick building, Queen West, Park Avenue Cleaners and Shanti Baba

photograph on exterior of store, group of people standing together, number 789 Queen West is next door

t bonez urban ninja squadron paste up of him in yoga pose

mural of a naked upper body with arms up and flowers around the head with words turn off your mind

below: Windigo Army piece

street art painting of an indigenous man with long black braid, wrapped in a white and black blanket, with yellow and red aura around him

below: A little orange character pasted to a pole; the work of kode_dipz aka Kyara Cabrera Fong

kode 905 slap graffiti little orange character with green face and tummy, on a pole

below: Because of the construction of a new condo at Richmond and Augusta there has been scaffolding in a section of Graffiti Alley. The other day some of it was being dismantled. This woman is more visible now but some of the bars remain.

mural of a woman with a cloth covering her head, behind scaffolding bar,

below: Life©️ one eyed red daisy supersized

black and orange traffic pylons beside the entrance to Graffiti Alley with a red one eyed daisy painting by life co beside it, then a row of paintings on hoardings

graffiti and street art on plywood hoardings that got switched around

4 faces found in different pieces of street art, all cartoonish, including a one eyed pink monster with oozing body,

below: Part of UBER5000’s Toronto mural.

large uber5000 Toronto mural in Graffiti alley, lower portion of it, behind chainlink fence

below: By luvs – a woman and her dog, with duplicate vision

part of a mural by luvs of a woman's head and a bulldog beside her, duplicate eyes and sunglasses that she's looking over, on a garage door in rush lane

two women walking their dogs in a snow storm on Spadina

from inside, a man walks past window of Le Gourmand bakery cafe on Spadina

below: A properly worn mask…..

window of flashback vintage, a mannequin in brown jacket and blue dress, mask needed sign on door

a collection of dolls in a store window with yellow metal grille in front

What is creepier?  Dolls or mannequins?

two images of mannequins in a window, one in pink and the other in red with red hair, both with large bows in their hair

below: Poetaia wants to know what you’re up to, wink, wink.

sticker graffiti on a wood utility pole that says What are your plans for the weekend?

below: Peeling paper makes the gold words difficult to read

grid of painted paper on top of street art, peeling at edges

below: There’s a yellow eye and possibly a blue one too?

paper collage face with yellow eye,slightly peeling at the edges

two mailboxes on a black door, 555 is salmon colour and 557 is black

two stickers on a metal pole on the topis a picture of a man's head with word think and on bottom is t bonez with finger over mouth as in saying shhh shush

small sticker graffiti on pole

small black and white sticker graffiti on pole, picture of man in a mask holding shoulders of a woman

below: It’s Okay to forgive yourself, today, tomorrow, and every day after that

poster graffiti that says It's okay to forgive yourself, a white cloud is giving a pink blob a big hug and they are both sitting on top of a globe of the earth

below: A greeting from a bright and cheerful Prideosaur

sticker of a blue dinosaur with rainbow horns, striped tail and rainbow spots on its back, prideosaur

below: Sign at 4422 says “Get Out of Here”

poster graffiti, black and white drawing

below: Hoardings on Dundas West with bruho, urban ninja, sketchrat, life in the streets, las mujeres vampiro, and looney spoons.

below:  Eyes in collages large size pasteups at Trinity Bellwoods Park

2 green sheds at Trinty Bellwoods Park, with graffiti on them, a man walking past pushing a stroller

below: Names on a pole, left behind in Graffiti Alley by Max, Lily, James, Keira, Leah, The Gamer, and others (a class project?)

stickers on a pole, different people's names

below: Look.  Look at my cat.

poster on a concrete pole - picture of a cat's head and face with words, look, look at my cat

below: So many questions weighing heavy.

graffiti alley stickers including urban ninja squadron, t bonez on one knee while carrying a large yellow cube on his back. cube has white question mark on each face

below: Found behind bars

sticker of an abstracted man's face on glass behind metal grille

below: Hello! Happy to see you

black line drawing graffiti on red and white hello sticker, on a pole beside a black marker on white paint happy face

below: Devilish skateboarder

sticker of a togo wearing, sandal wearing, many with devil horns, on a skateboard

below: A plethora of stickers

many stickers on the back of a Toronto street sign

below: Stay safe!

sticker that says stay safe on a panel for button for pedestrian crossing

below: A face only a mother could love… maybe… He’s got one smiley face ear and another not so happy ear.

a woman walks past a box with graffiti on it including two stickers, an ugly man's face and a t bonez tropical shirt

below: ring around the pole by the same artist, OzoHOH? 0zohok?

stickers on a metal ring around a wood utility pole

below: zonr and more visual noise

stickers on a pole, zonr, urban ninja squadron in red

below: words, maybe girl dutch with something intense and ending with half woman.

poster graffiti on a wood pole, cursive writing, many words, black on white

below: I love you says a pink monkey

stickers on poles in graffiti alley

below: Now you know what’s in the Ninth Circle of Hell. In Dante’s “Inferno” the Ninth Circle was a frozen lake, a place devoid of love and warmth where Satan resided. The Ninth was also the innermost circle, reserved for those who have committed the worst sins which in Dante’s view were treachery and betrayal. Souls are frozen in the lake. Those whose treachery wasn’t quite so bad were frozen with their heads above the ice. Others were buried deeper. Lucifer, the archangel who betrayed God, is trapped waist-deep in the ice.

poster on a utility pole, lots of words with first line being climate change is the ninth circle of hell

below: A twist on blue Grumpy Care Bear – is he thinking about Climate Change?!

city crew sticker on a pole, also a blue care bear sticker, painted wall behind the pole

below: You’re welcome!

pink bordered sticker with three cheering women, words say thanks

November 2021 edition

below: Jumbleface foto collage, slightly peeling.  Keep cold.

jeremy lynch jumbleface foto pasteup collage on a window in Kensington, eyes

below: Doesn’t he fit right into the poster?  Or are you busy looking at all the little creatures swarming around t-bonez head?

on the back of a bike rack, pasteups and stickers, urban ninja squadron in green,

below: It’s Life, it’s a one-eyed red daisy

red petal, blue eyed daisy, it's life sticker

below: Smugrat, Las Mujeres Vampiros, bentoghoul, and others.

stickers on plywood hoardings, outside, mujeres vampiros,

below: Wash your hands after It’s Life yellow daisy takes first prize

three stickers, bottom one is wash your hands

on plywood hoardings, coffee cup poster, with t-bonez and a large missile in the background

below: Miss You!  Nika loves Aura, and other messages around the coffee.

coffee cup poster

below: Crying real water

small sticker with water in eyes, crying tears

below: And you’re looking blue too.

small blue square sticker that says I'm feeling blue

below: Gas Phaseout? We CANDU It!  Part of the poster has been torn off ….

posters on a utility pole, top one is climate change action, rosie the riveter picture with words

below:  … but this Homer Simpson poster is probably related.  Climate Hero!  Eating donuts?  No… “In Ontario nuclear workers provided 90% of the electricity needed to phase out coal – North America’s greatest CO2 reduction.  Let’s phase out natural gas next”.
I can’t read all the handwriting but part of what someone has written on the poster says: “How did you turn off my portable Panosonic TV Karen? Did your boyfriend help you?”  Can you make any sense of that?

two posters on a metal pole, top one has Homer Simpson

Three streets, College, Dundas, and Lansdowne, form a small triangle in the west end. The following pictures were taken on a summer day a couple of weeks ago when I was walking in and around that triangle.

below: Mural – railway bridge. Just west of here, Dundas crosses a set of tracks – the same line the services Pearson airport and points beyond.

mural on the corner of a building

below: Eating Dominos in the doorway

street art painting of a blue dragon with mouth open wide, pink tongue and yellow teeth, dominos pizza box in mouth

below: Small part of a freaky display of dolls and similar toys along the wood rails surrounding a sidewalk patio

dolls attached to poles as part of decoration on outdoor patio

below: More dolls from the same place –  what does that do to one’s appetite?

old dolls attached to a wood 4 x 4 outside

below: Colourful umbrellas cover a makeshift patio on the street

man walking on sidewalk, away from the camera. patio on street beside sidewalk with many umbrellas over the tables, green, red, and yellow

below: New sidewalk on College Street with a large mural in the distance…..

sidewalk that is roped off with yellow caution tape because the concrete has just been repoured, College Street

below: Beanstalk mural on the side of the coin laundry on the northeast corner of College and St. Clarens.  Maybe that’s Jack at the bottom…   😀

northeast corner of College and St. Clarens, three storey beige brick building with coin laundry on ground floor, large beanstalk mural up the side of the building

below: Orange house, northwest corner of College and St. Clarens

below: …. and an orange car, an older Porsche convertible, in an alley around the corner.

backs of stores in a small alley where a blue Dodge Ram pickup truck is parked. Also parked is an orange car, an old porsche convertible. Graffiti on some of the buildings

below: Lost Time

poster on a wood utility pole with the headline Lost Time

below: Reflections, TTC streetcars and the pope

reflections of a TTC streetcar in a store window

below:  In a convenience store window – get your keys cut here, or buy a mask, but watch out for the five deadly terms used by a woman.  Fine? Go ahead!

signs in window of a convenience store. Keys cut here, covid items for sale - masks, hand sanitizer, also a poster of deadly things that women say

below: Faded signs in another store window

window of a convenience store, in the middle of a large mural on exterior of building, faded signs in the window

below: One of life’s little blue daisies watching you

graffiti sticker on a black brick wall, a little blue daisy

below: Is this dystopia?

stenciled red words on a sidewalk that say Is this dystopia?

below: College at Margueretta

College street near Lansdowne, brick buildings on north side of street

below: Canadian flags on old store windows

s

below: A door with a frosty scene in duplicate.

below: Even birds might want to get mail!

a small white bird house is attached to the end of a black mailbox in a doorway

below: Happy mail

tagged mural, mural was an animal in blues on purple astro like background

below: Dundas Gas Bar

below: Outdoor displays

store, with items of clothing on display outside

below: An ad, blue and peeling

old poster peeling from an exterior wall, a blue advertisement for Cuevo alcohol

below: Vacant lot on Lansdowne between College and Dundas

small wood box mounted on chainlink fence around vacant lot , concrete wall behind it

billboard in vacant lot with chainlink fence around it

billboard in vacant lot with chainlink fence around it

below: Northeast corner of Dundas and Lansdowne – some architecture ages better than others.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a few pictures of some of the architecture in the area.

semi divided house, two storey

semi divided house with peaked roof, balconies on upper level

two blue houses, semis, one bright blue and greyish blue.

in Kensington

sign on sidewalk made with pink fabric covered with yellow and white flowers, a big white circle in the middle with hi written in large yellow letters

Some places never change, at least not in the big ways. Although little things pop up only to be replaced by other tidbits, Kensington still looks like it has for a while now. I can’t say forever! Because nothing lasts forever.
In fact, there is a small photo exhibit on hoardings in the neighbourhood that features old pictures and there are definitely similarities to be found!

hoardings with an exhibit of old black and white photos of kensington

below: On the left, from 1940 a photo of a shop at Denison and Dundas West from the Jewish Archives.

two old black and white photos of the kensington neighbourhood, vintage

below: This is an enlargement of the the black and white photo on the right from the picture above. It is the Augusta Fruit Market and it was taken in 1961 by Vincenzo Pietropaolo

black and white photo from 1961 of Augusta Fruit market

below: Sixty years later the same building sits on the same corner only now it’s the Oxford Fruit Market. It even has the same green roofline and what looks to be the same hydro pole!

the Oxford Fruit Market, painted blue, on the corner of Augusta

below: An iconic Kensington sight gets a new paint job.

woman wearing an orange turban-like hat is painting a car in many bright colours, the car is full of plants growing inside it

below: Fix your hearts or die.

graffiti sign on a pole, covering an add for 35 mm cameras for sale, words that say fix your hearts or die

below: A mural on the side wall of Perolas, by Jeannie Priscila aka Dajenesis

two people walking past a mural of a South American woman on Perolas Supermarket exterior  wall

below: Hands outstretched to passers-by

a woman in a coral coloured dress walks past a mural of an old woman with her hands outstretched, asking for something, a red and white shawl over her head

below: Hate has no home here, plus something that started with “Behind stained steamy glass, we’ll (and then your imagination can take over!)

signs on a wood utility pole in front of a painting on a brick wall of a cup of coffee.  A poster with words Hate has no home here.  An ad for a store that is partially obscured by the pole, and a fake street sign that starts with Behind Stained steamy glass, we'll... and the rest is blocked by many stickers

below: free Toronto Caribbean newspapers

below: Ricas Tortas, Elotes y Esquites are fading away

below: Eyes eyes and more by Jeremy

below: Walking past temptation – churros, empanadas, slushies and Birra Catrina

a couple carry their shopping in bags as they walk on sidewalk, walking past

below: Pour me into frequency – in triplicate

3 large graffiti posters in an alley, covering other street art, each with an anatomically correct heart in different colours (red, green and blue), and the words pour me into frequency

below: This little sock monkey not only shows his rainbow colours but also shows his support for the COVID-19 vaccine!

a sock monkey sits in a store window, wearing a rainbow flag scarf and a sticker that says I got my covid-19 vaccine

below: Uber5000 – yellow birdies in a helicopter on top and dogs playing cards on the bottom. Perhaps that yellow birdie on the ladder is dropping in on the card game?

below: A view down the alley towards more murals – a very big multicoloured chicken beside a face

below: A Rowell Soller close up

Close up of a face, eyes closed, mural by Rodwell Soller

below: A brighter than blood red beak looks rather creepy on this enormous chicken by Phillip Saunders

mural of a chicken's head and beak

below: Walking past one of the many patios now open in Kensington

A man with long hair and wearing a cowboy hat walks past a patio in Kensington

below: Carlos House of Spice

Carlos House of Spice in Kensington, with an alley beside it, murals on the walls in the alley, incense for sale in front,

3 pedestrians walking on a sidewalk, walking past a man struggling with a large package on his bike

below: Saved by the youth Can you imagine it? Beside Snacks Mexican style where Aguas Frescas (Jamaica, watermelon and mango) are $5. Also on the menu, Pina Coladas, as well as Elote, and Esquites (corn dishes I think)

black letters spray painted on white tile wall, says saved by youth can you imagine it?  wall is beside a window of a coffee shop with words and numbers listing the prices of drinks, aguas frescas

below: a silver poser bunny

silver poser bunny on pink background

a large flag draped around a white picket fence, flag is yellow with a big happy face on it

below: Dundas West near Augusta

stores and signs on Dundas West near Augusta.  Chao Chow Association of Ontario, Swiftronics, Royal Denture, and others, some people walking on the sidewalk too

below: Walking to Noras for a shawarma or a kabob?

below: Hoardings on Dundas West surrounding Alexandria Park redevelopment.

a woman on a bicycle rides past hoardings around Alexandria Park redevelopment, with a mural on it by Javid Jah and Danile Deluxe

below: A large mural that was a collaboration between Phillip Saunders and Luvs

large mural of a mans face in Kensington

below: Graffiti slaps, stickers, and paste-ups – Feelings Boi, Urban Ninja Squadron, TRP 613,

below: T-bonez in black and white

sticker of t bonez urban ninja squadron in black and white

below: A shiny red skateboarder zooms past a snake with its tongue stuck out

graffiti slap of a bright shiny red skateboarder on the move

below: stickers on boxes

below: Stickers on poles

graffiti stickers on poles in Kensington

below: A wise owl with curly hair and glasses plays the accordion

below: You are not your mistakes plus a summer time poem

on brown paper, a message that says You are not your mistakes, beside a red Tridel sign.  on the latter, someone has written a poem in sharpie

The words are very small on the red sign; this is what they say.

Summer Time
Sundress
I feel India in my bones
I can smell sunlight
I can feel the high time
bless me
God bless me, goddess of forbidden love
I am she
I ___ one white candle
Maintain purity

below: A new TTC streetcar on a Toronto street, a mural by Colin Tea

a mural of a toronto street with a TTC streetcar on it, over two garage doors in a small Cabbagetown lane

below: Another Colin Tea mural, a larger than life raccoon looms over a city neighbourhood

a  mural of a larger than life raccoon standing over houses, by Colin Tea, in a lane with other garages

below: CN Tower and Toronto skyline on a very blue sky

mural of blue birds flying above blue sky and CN tower and toronto skyline, exterior wall with a door in it

below: A Tokyo Meow

mural of a black and white car with pink inner ear saying meow, mural signed bu tokyo on a wall with two barred windows

below: Lovebot and the city beside a woman in square glasses and black flats.

A small paste up on a brick wall, black and white drawing of a woman in black flats, shorts, sleeveless top, square glasses, and long black hair.  There is also a lovebot sticker nearby, an egg timer with red heart on top and city of Toronto skyline on the bottom

below: Two faces, one in better shape than the other

peeling paste up on a wall beside a mural of a face in purple and green tones

paper paste up on a wall that is badly peeling around the edges, an abstract face with blue nose and yellow skin
below: Another drawing paste-up that is peeling around the edges.  They are rather intriguing and I wish that I had seen them when they were whole.

below: T-bonez as the boy wonder, Urban Ninja Squadron

a man walks past a black and white urban ninja squadron sticker,  T bonez dressed as robin and another character dresses as Batman

below: T-bonez with Timmy Drift

urban ninja squadron sticker, weathered and a bit faded, on a pole with red and yellow stripes
below: Horny and green with big white teeth

green dragon or monster head on a blue garage door, big white eyes, horns, big mouth with white teeth

mural on a brick wall in white and turquoise of a stylized head divided into sections,

below: Email God – church’s closed, 2021

written in black on plywood hoardings is email god church's closed 2021

below: You are not your mistakes

mural of a seated woman on a brick wall, an advert for Benjamin Moore paint

Most people who visit Graffiti Alley don’t realize that there is another section of street art to the west.   Technically, Graffiti Alley is the lane behind the south side of Queen Street West between Spadina and Augusta.  The next section of the alley, from Augusta to Portland, is Rush Lane.   Unfortunately there is a large Loblaws/Winners that blocks the lane on the west side of Portland.

To access the next couple of blocks of laneway, you have to detour down to Richmond Street and turn right.  Public Lane is a few steps away from Richmond & Portland.

you look better in a moustache mural, with a man with a moustache, a movember mural

below: Public Lane turns to the left,  regardless of what the arrow says.

Public Lane, that curves to the left

below: Between here and Bathurst Street, a lot of street art has disappeared as redevelopment of Richmond has progressed.  The large black building on the right has its garage entrance from the lane so watch for cars when you’re back there.

back of top part of rowhouses, seen from a lane

below: A few circles of colour on a grey wall, a reminder that there was once street art here.

a grey wall with a window, some coloured circles painted on the window

below: Beyond Bathurst there is a long stretch of laneway. A lot of the paintings here are older and some may have already appeared in this blog.

a person walks away from the camera, down an alley, with garages on both sides, with graffiti and street art them

below: A 2020 mural by Elicser Elliot

metal stairs in front of a large mural by elicser elliott of a policeman controlling a crowd

below: Huey Newton by elicser

Huey Newton mural by elicser on the end of a wall, a mural beside it with a buxom woman in tight clothes

mans face painted by elicser in a doorway

mans face, with hands holding a mask over his mouth and nose, painted by elicser in a doorway

below: Feelings Boi and a pink daisy from Life©

stickers on a pole, a daisy in pin, a feelings boi, beside a wood fence and gate with stencil graffiti of a man's face in a white oval framed in black

below: Woodstock love

little yellow Woodstock with black sunglassses stands above a black stencil on white of a girls head, a love heart is there too

downtown alley with street art

cardboard boxes stored against a wall with a mural of a woman from the back view

part of a mural, a couple, she has wavy hair pinned to the top of her head,

below: By luvsomone

mural of two black men

below: Yosemite Sam is now boxed in.

mural of cartoon character Yosemite Sam, on a wall at the end of a driveway, with trash cans and other stuff in front of it

row of garages in an alley with graffiti and street art on them

below: A resting UBER 5000 yellow birdie.  Or is that a yoga mat?!

uber 5000 yellow birdie mural, lying on a black surface, feet in air, red background

below: This little unicorn has always been a favorite of mine.  Definitely an oldie now.

part of elicser mural of a man with a small beard in red hoodie, holding a small unicorn in his hand

below: Collaboration between luvsomone, vuducats/Christina Mazzulla

mural of a woman with large bead necklace and rose coloured sunglasses, beside of dog in shades of blue and purple,

window and window box in a building with street art on the walls, dead plants in the planter

a pickup truck drives down an alley

mural on a garage door, womans face in blue and purple

below: Mural by Rodwell Soller

mural by rodwell soller, a mans face with eyes closed, calligraphy

gate, and back of stores on Queen

below: Happy face skulls

garages in a lane with graffiti and street art on them

stickers on a pole with garages in the background, laneway,

I first started walking the streets with a camera sometime in 2011.   At that time Instagram was still a baby; the photo sharing platform of choice at the time was flickr.  Flickr still exists but there are many more choices now.  Back in the day there was a Toronto flickr group that had meetups once a month.  The meetup, there’s another concept that has exploded with the internet.  There are now meetup groups for any photography genre that tickles your fancy.  Ten years ago, you met through flickr and that is how I found Toronto Photo Walks. They walk (or walked pre-COVID) on alternate Saturdays, rain or shine, somewhere in the city.   My first walk with them was February 2012, almost exactly 9 years ago.   If you check their website, you”ll see that COVID-19 has played havoc with their group and there haven’t been any walks for a year now.  I miss my phellow photogs so the other day I walked with one and this is where we ended up.

 

below: If you’ve been in the Distillery District this winter (or any of the past few winters), you might recognize this cheerful fellow.

tall fake snowman with a red and white striped scarf, in the distillery district

below: At Mill and Trinity, the omnipresent blue and white Notice sign.  Apparently a developer has applied to build a 31 storey building (on top of the existing old brick structure) with 392 hotel rooms.  I wonder if they are happy that they didn’t just finish this a year ago?  Ontario hotel occupancy rate hit a low of 15.3% in April 2020 and had barely started to recover when the second lockdown hit.  As an aside – if you like stats, you’ll like the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport research pages!

blue and white city of toronto development notice in front of old brick building in distillery district

below: One industry that is booming is the film business.  Often you can see movie trucks at the corner of Mill and Cherry.  This land is owned by the province and is awaiting an affordable housing development of some sort.

movie film crew trucks on the corner of Cherry and Mill streets

two people buying coffee and muffins from a food truck in a lot with many other white trucks

below: The old Foundry site, actually a group of heritage buildings at the former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue that are more than 100 years old.

glass windows of the old foundry building

The problem?  It sits on provincially owned land.  The province can pull stunts like changing the zoning without city approval (or knowledge).  It can turn one foundry building into 3 towers of max 141m high  (30 storeys is approx. 100m so 141 m is TALL!).  One of them has to be rental apartments but can’t have parking – there’s to be a commercial parking structure instead.  Hey let’s build affordable housing by making them pay for parking!  Here is the government website with the proof – Ontario Regulation 595/20

bench on sidewalk in front of old foundry building

Fast forward to late January.  Demolition of the foundry begins with no warning to the neighbourhood.  There is a rezoning order but no actual plans drawn up or developer named.  As far we know, the province still owns the land but refuses to say exactly the plan is because, well, probably because there is no plan or because the province is selling out to a developer.  Name your poison.   The province just says “affordable housing” and we’re supposed to go oooh and ahhh.

old foundry building behind hoardings, new condo in the background

Just around the corner (on Mill Street) three towers of 761 rental units are being built at the moment (no photo, it’s all behind hoardings so far).

machinery in front of old foundry building that demolition was started on, and then stopped

below: Heritage Toronto plaque, 2012, Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd., Manufacturing Complex

plaque at former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue

These four buildings were once part of a larger Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd. complex. By 1913, the company had constructed its first building, 169 Eastern Ave. on this site. As a manufacturer of railway equipment, rolling stock, and foundry and machinery supplies, Dominion Wheel & Foundries expanded with the growth of the nearby railway companies. By the 1940s, the buildings stretched from this location to Cherry Street, replacing two former residential streets. The firm’s remaining warehouse (#169)m foundry building (#153, built 1951), office building (#171, built 1930), and machine shop (#185, built about 1935) are now among the few remaining reminders of the extensive impact the railway industry had on this area.

.

Anyhow, lots of protest, lots of noise.  Demolition was halted.  An Ontario Divisional Court justice temporarily stopped the province from demolishing the heritage buildings.

4 hand drawn posters protesting the demolition of the old foundry building

below: Just behind the Foundry, an almost completed condo.

new condo in Canary district almost finished construction,

below: Workers remove the protective layer from the mirror-like panels on the underside of the overhang (see yellow area near the bottom of the condo in the above photo).  This feature parallels the mirrors on the “ceiling” of Underpass Park which is close by.

workmen working on a lift, working on mirrored exterior overhanging roof on a new condo

flat bed truck carrying machinery, and little red car on street, man holding slow stop sign by construction site , man on sidewalk walking two small dogs

below: Poster paste up graffiti at Underpass Park (you can see the new condo I mentioned above in the upper right corner).  Good advice whether you take it literally or as a metaphor.

poster graffiti on a piller in Underpass Park, poetry on it

black marker scrawl graffiti on a concrete post, drawing of man's face and head with words about smoking

below: Looking northwest at the corner of King and Sumach

corner of kIng and Sumach, looking northwest, Central Auto mechanic on the corner

below: A few metres further west along King.  Traffic passes under Richmond and Adelaide streets.

TTC streetcar on King as it goes under the Richmond Street overpass from the Don Valley Parkway

below:  Looking northwest from Sackville Park.

looking west through Sackville Park, to city buildings behind, snow on ground

below: ghost sign

ghost sign that says groceries, under a cracking layer of concrete, on a wall with a couple of windows

below: Waiting for the streetcar.

King street 504 TTC streetcar, person sitting onrailing and waiting for streetcar

man making a delivery , a box, on a bike, KIng street,

below: Architectural detail on a corner of St. Lawrence Hall.   That’s quite the expression on the poor fellow’s face.  The harrowed look of someone who has spent too much time in lockdown?

small relief sculpture high on a wall of the St. Lawrence Hall

below: In contrast, this guy looks like he’s having a great time!

a small dog is looking out the open window of a black car

Did you ever think that we’d still be mired in this pandemic a year later?

below: A reminder that this pandemic has been hard on a lot of businesses –  sign on a window, “Dear Customers”

sign in a restaurant window

Dear customers, We have decided to close this weekend to re-assess for the future…

.

below: Lining up to buy groceries, masked and keeping distanced.

people lined up waiting to get into No Frill grocery store, keeping the 2 metres apart

On a storefront window, something positive: hearts for the things we love – “my dog”, “mac & cheese”, “movie popcorn”, etc.

pink post it notes with words, beside big pink heart, in the window of a store, notes all say what people love

below: Pam Lostracco artwork on hoardings.

painted hoardings of a couple sitting on a bench, a child on a bike, some Canada geese, by Pam , around a construction site

workmen by the entrance to a construction site, with concrete mixer backed into the site

below: View of the CN Tower from Lower Sherbourne, just north of Lakeshore/Gardiner and immediately south of Hydro One’s Esplanade Transformer Station.  Unfortunately, that is not a public path; it is behind a locked gate.

graffiti on the wall around the hydro substation, lots electrical stuff, with CN Tower and downtown buildings in the background

below: Chairs in the median.

two chairs in the median on the Lakeshore, under the Gardiner at Lower Sherbourne

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking west towards downtown.

looking west on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne, construction,

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking east towards the old Victory Soya Mills Silos.  They were built for Canadian Breweries’ soya bean processing plant in 1944.  Ten years later the site was sold to Proctor and Gamble who renamed them the Victory Soya Mills Silos.   One last change of ownership occurred in 1980 when Central Soya Mills purchased them.   They have been empty since 1991.  Other buildings on the site have been demolished but the silos remain, now a heritage building but surrounded by a large vacant lot.

looking east on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne with old concrete silos in the distance, lots of orange and black traffic cones in the middle of the street in the foreground

below: The mill with its three silos before it closed in the early 1990s.  The silo that still stands is the one in the back, not the two closest to the water.   In this picture, you are looking southeast; the Port Lands are in the background and the Cherry Street bridge is on the left at the very edge.  There isn’t much traffic on the Gardiner Expressway!

old colour photograph of Victory Soya Mills with Port Lands behind

below: Sugar Beach

sugar beach with pink umbrellas, looking northwest to the city, new glass highrise beside redpath sugar

black and white sticker graffiti on a pole

sticker graffiti on a pole

My thanks to Vicki for walking with me that day.  We’ve walked many miles together in the past but I don’t think that we’ve ever walked alone (maybe?)

reflections in a window downtown

below: As an aside, after walking with Vicki, I looped back around to my car.  This construction site is on Adelaide where the brick facade of the old building is being preserved.   More to explore another day!

construction site, Adelaide street, new condo building, but with retention of the old facade

 

a man walks down graffiti alley

below: Dynamic Duo so to speak, a T-bonez Robin to a Batman of a different sort.

black and white poster paste up in graffiti alley, urban ninja squadron with another character in a cape and super hero outfit

graffiti, 5 orange stencil figures on a white pole, one hand with two fingers up in a peace sign all with faces added in black sharpie

below: A collection of stickers and pastups – urban ninja squadron (TCF), spud, a blue Bentoghoul, and others

pasteups and stickers on a wall in graffiti alley

below: There is love in this lane

love sign on a pole, with a heart, street sign as well,

as well as broken hearts

graffiti, red broken heart on white circle

below: Playing games with Psiconauta on a pole while the little purple figure gives a peace sign.

urban ninja squadron sticker on a pole, little figure stencil in blue on wall beside it

below: T-bonez clad in pink and red with T-smoke on his back.

graffiti alley, urban ninja squadron paste up, t bonez in pink and red

below: Stay warm folks!

urban ninja squadron t bonez character with words stay warm

stickers and paste ups on a wall in graffiti alley

urban ninja squardon paste ups

black lives matter words on a wall with an urban ninja squadron t bonez in a pink suit and holding a red daisy with one eye in the center, graffiti alley

below: …. and a spudbomb too

pasteups and stickers on a wall in graffiti alley

below:  Flower Power. Many daisies by Life© popping up in Graffiti Alley (or at least they look like daisies).  “Consciousness watching the world”.

small sticker of a daisy with red petals and an eye in the center, on a wall already covered with painted street art

stickers and paste ups in graffit alley

small sticker of a daisy with yellow petals and an eye in the center, on a wall already covered with painted street art
orange daisy with an eye in the center and the word life written many times around it

below: Until next time… keep your eyes open!

pasteup of a photo of a man's face, with beard and moustache, other scribbles around the face